We have red squirrels in out attic. I believe I know the path and opening through which they enter. In the past I have had success catching several in “have a heart” traps.
My first question is: since we live in central ny where winter temps average below freezing although flux from 0 to 45 degrees…it is now winter…in this cold weather do the squirrels leave the attic to go outside. I haven’t caught any since the cold weather has set in.
I believe I have located a closet where the squirrels are located in the attic above the closet ceiling. I am tempted to cut a hole in the attic ceiling and mount an excluder trap which has been baited with pecan paste. The “have a heart” traps are used horizontaly so hanging it vertically covering the hole will not allow the door to shut.
Will the excluder trap work if mounted vertically? I susect not since the door appears to operate by gravity.
Do you have any suggestion as to trapping the squirrels through a hole in the ceiling. I guess if I had to I could cut a large enough hole to place the “heart traps” up inside the attic and then resealing the hole to stop sqirrels from coming into the closet while waiting for them to enter the trap.
Since the cold appears to affect the squirrels activity outside I want to go at this from the inside.
I know I screwed up by not sealing the entry after I had trapped several during the summer warm weather. I will be taking measures to use products and directions from your web site to seal the entry but only after I am sure I have removed the squirrels.
a home owner terrorized by squirrels !
To answer your first question; once it gets really cold outside, animals like squirrels won’t venture out on a regular basis. We’ve seen where they will remain active down to 25 degrees but once it gets colder than freezing and when it remains 30 degrees or less for several days in a row, they seem more content to remain inside and wait for a warming trend. Having spent a lot of time in upstate NY, I’m sure that’s the case with your current red squirrel population.
To answer your second question; I don’t think employing the excluder in the living area ported from the attic would be wise. There is just too much that could go wrong with this configuration. Additionally, I’m not convinced the animals would forage down to the living area anyway since this would be “new” for them. Only if they had been doing this before, sometime in the past 6 months, would I say to use this strategy. And yes, we have had customers with squirrels that were foraging into the living areas so it does happen!
At this time I like the concept of setting up some live traps in the attic as close as posible to where you are hearing the activity. First, make access to the space. Next, set out some bait like bird seed and our PECAN PASTE out on a paper plate to get them to feed. Once you have them foraging to a certain location on a regular basis expecting to find food, you should be able to set a SQUIRREL LIVE TRAP in this exact location and start catching them up in the attic. I do agree you definitely missed the “best time” to exclude them back when you first eliminated the activity. But now that winter has set in and you think there are more up there, sealing the holes leading to and from the outside would be a mistake. For now, leave them open. Only after you get rid of any squirrels currently active should you consider sealing the holes. At that point a good exclusion job including the use of some REPELLENT FOAM and other products mentioned in our SQUIRREL CONTROL article would be wise to use. This way the previous scents and smells undoubtedly present won’t have as much of an impact as they might normally have.
If done with patience, you should be able to trap out the ones currently up in the attic even though it’s winter. Once you can go at least 1 week without hearing any activity up in this space, you can consider sealing the outside access holes. This can be done even if it’s still winter time. By next spring you should be squirrel free if you follow the guidelines I’ve listed and use patience. If you have any questions or concnerns, please give us a call on our toll free 1-800-877-7290.